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Be Content in Him

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Do you find yourself frustrated with the ministry work, or the tasks you labor yourself with for Jesus?  Looking impatiently at the future that is yet unfolding?  We all get this way at times, and it makes it hard to stay the course, to continue running the race. 

The disciples were also concerning themselves with future things:

“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭KJV‬‬

We tend to be like this sometimes, don’t we?  Especially when we start to put effort into a ministry, we begin to ask God when the fruits of our labor will be seen. We envision the end product of this great task set before us, and we desire to finish to work well, and to great success. We begin to ask God: “When will this produce the success I know it is capable of?”. 

Here is the catch, and the realization Jesus lays on his disciples, that is also direction to us: it is not for us to know, or even anticipate when the power of the Lord will manifest itself. It is not for us to know when the work we are called to labor in will bear fruit. It most likely is not for us to even see a small success in our work. Bummer, right?  

The disciples are told that despite an uncertain future (from their perspective), it doesn’t mean nothing is going on. 

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

See, Jesus tells them they will receive power with the Holy Ghost (this same Holy Ghost lives in us!). What is this power used for?  To bear witnesses for Him whom redeemed us. This is important, because each and every thing we labor over for Jesus should be surrounding this important task. No matter what it is, sharing Jesus is in itself the reward we should be seeking. 

No matter how you serve Him, remember to be in a constant state of readiness to bear witness to Jesus. Let us not focus on the future, as we are not promised tomorrow. Labor today for Him, and let God work things in His own time. Be content in being His servant today. 

God Bless. 

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Moving On

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Sadly, our church plant has gone the way of a lot of churches in recent years. We closed our doors (figuratively speaking) quite a few months back.  There are many varying reasons, my wife and I moved for one, attendance dropped, blah, blah, blah….

I resisted the necessity of this change for a bit, as did a few others in the church, we didn’t want to be a failure. It felt that way to me in every aspect. As the Pastor, I pondered where I went wrong, the preaching, the shepherding, the outreach?  All these things ran through my head. 

It took the words of a friend, outside of the church plant, but a part of the parent church, to make me realize that it was okay. He said “look at it like this, it was a season”. All of us that put the work into this church walked away better for being a part of it. 

We all got healing, and my calling was confirmed, and my confidence bolstered in doing His work. These things alone make every effort put in worth while. We can’t look at these things in terms of a business. This church still meeting together does not make or break the success of it. It is what was produced that marks the quality. 

Let’s look at what the scripture says in reference to things that tend not to last:

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭KJV‬‬

This time for the gathering together of this church has passed, and that’s okay. I’m content the Lord did what was best for His kingdom, regardless of my successes or failures in this church. 

I will continue to post here and keep this site going, as I fell led to share what the Lord puts on my heart. 

I will look back fondly on this experience, learning from it, and rejoicing in how the Lord changed me through it. 

I encourage all of you to look at life’s changes through the eyes of Him that redeemed you. While those changes may be painful, and confusing, they generally allow us to better approach our faith with the right hearts. 

God Bless

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Sermon: Galatians – Part 3

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Galatians 1:17-27

Acts 9:26-29

 

Speaker:

Pastor Jason Doyle

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Do you worry?

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Do you spend a lot of time worrying?  Do you find yourself unsure of where things in your life are going?  Are you often distraught at the future unknown?  Most of us do, and while its normal, it’s not something we should be doing. Let’s see what Jesus has to say about it:

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:30-34‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I’m not going to beat you over the head with this, but we do have to look at the facts. We are not to worry about tomorrow!

This is not to say we are to be oblivious to the future, but how things drift from our plans should be taken with a grain of salt. God knows what we need, not what we want necessarily, but what we need.

If this is the case, than why do things so often fall apart around us?  If this statement is true, and God knows and supplies what we need, why is there strife in our lives?  Two reasons, because of sin, and because of our response to that sin. 

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God”, here is the key. If we are not seeking God first, it’s no wonder things seem to fall apart around us. It’s so important to organize our lives in such a way that serving God is what we do, and everything else is just an extension of that. 

God will provide us all that we need when we are seeking His face first. Seek Him, and just watch as things fall into place. Not to say that all your desires will become reality, but that the will of God will be manifest in your life. 

God Bless

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Do you Do?

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If someone were to write a summary of what you do on a typical day, what would it look like? Would someone say, there is a person who serves the Lord?  Could they distinguish you, a proclaimed Christian, from those that are not?

Let’s look at James:

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:22-24‬ ‭KJV‬‬

There is a very important point here, “deceiving your own selves”. Most of us would say that going to Church on Sunday is enough. We are generally good people, and attend service. That covers it, right?  

Deceiving your own selves!

This is a lie straight from the enemy. The picture painted above is appropriate, it’s like liking in a mirror, than walking away and forgetting what you saw. That is what happens when we are hearers of the word only.  The word of God becomes a noise we endured on Sunday, rather than filling us with the joy of the Lord. 

I’m not here to judge anyone on how you live your spiritual life (no more than the watchman on the wall – Ezekiel 33). However, I can say with absolute certainty, simply receiving instruction in the word is not enough. We must act on it as well. 

Is it enough to read the assembly instruction on a new piece of furniture?  Of course not, we must pick up the tools, and follow the instruction. It is ludicrous for us to think of someone saying that just reading the instructions is enough, we would call them crazy. Yet, this is our mentality with our faith. 

There is an obvious consequence to hearing and not doing the word of God. Take a peek at society today and you will understand. When the word of God is only applied to our ears, and not to our hearts, minds, hands and feet, we are wasting and abusing a beautiful gift from our creator. 

I urge you to be doers of the word, not hearers only, thus avoiding the self deception of complacency. 

God Bless

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Forever

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We, as fleshly beings, tend to not want to think too much on our short time here on earth. Internally we like to think we will live forever in this flesh. Our mortality is not dealt with by us daily. While this is normal, I think it can at times cloud the majesty of eternity in Jesus Christ. 

Forever is a word that often lacks context for us. We cannot fathom the infinite God when we are stuck in this finite flesh. That’s okay though, because we can at least understand the result of an infinite God, and He tells us how:

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:35‬ ‭KJV‬‬

How amazing is that?  It’s the one constant in the entire universe. Every other fact known to man is a cycle, it goes from truth to fiction in waves. Powers come and go, beliefs change and fade. 

The word of God however is forever. When everyone we know is gone from this earth, when all civilizations known today are but a footnote in the history books, the word of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shall remain. It shall remain in force, in power, in glory, and in unalterable truth. 

When we stand firm on the word of God, we are standing on the only thing in all of creation that cannot be changed. We are joining with the greatest force ever. 

Here is the part that still amazes me and fills me with joy. Those words that will never pass away speak of my forgiveness. They speak of my salvation. They speak of my eternity in Him.   They speak of His love for me and all mankind. These words shall not pass away. 

Praise the Lord for forever. 

God Bless. 

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Do you forgive?

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I want you to think about the people you are angry with right now. The people whom have wronged you, slighted you, abandoned you, and ignored you. How do those people make you feel?  Have you forgiven them of the wrongs they committed in your life?  Forgiveness is no easy task, but it’s level of difficulty does not preclude its necessity!

Forgiveness is not conceding that they were right. It’s not saying what they did was acceptable. It’s not even saying there actions are forgotten!  It absolutely does not mean you cannot talk to them about the way their actions affected you. It’s simply saying that their actions will no longer dictate your actions moving forward. Each of us deserves to be forgiven by each other, even if it at times feels like we shouldn’t. Why is that?

Christ has forgiven you, in all your inequities, He has made you new. You’re new because you are no longer associated with the old you. You are no longer held accountable for the things you have done. The slate has been wiped clean. How can we expect those that have wronged us to ever change if we keep them shrouded in their inequities? If we constantly persecute them for something in the past?  Our flesh desires us to hold on until they come crawling back in apology, this is unacceptable behavior from a proclaimed Christian!  

Let’s look at Colossians:

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:12-15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

We are one body. When we hold on to the anger of the past, we are introducing poison into the body of Christ. Forgive and allow God to work in your life. Don’t build walls that prevent you from walking with Christ. 

Finally, be thankful. Be thankful that Christ has forgiven you of all your shortcomings, that you are not accountable for your past in the eyes of God. Extend that to those around you, be those hands and feet of Jesus we are called to be. 

God Bless

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Do You Forget?

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In my reading of Exodus this week, I came across something that both astounded me, and shamed me at the same time. Then, after going to the Lord in prayer, a bit of understanding fell over me. I would like to share that small journey with you.

First, let’s read a few verses from Exodus 15:

“So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭15:22-24‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I encourage you to read Exodus, but I will summarize the situation a bit. 

The Israelites were slaves under Pharaoh, and he would not let them leave. Moses performed a series of miracles in the name of God to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. None of these wonderful things could be considered trivial. Eventually Pharaoh reluctantly let them leave, only to bring his army to give chase after them. 

This lands the Israelites between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea. Now the Israelites knew the amazing things God had done to get them their freedom, yet in this situation, they thought they were doomed. God parts the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to escape. 

They make it to the other side, and with the Egyptian army now crossing the parted water, God closes it, consuming the whole of the army. The Israelites are so amazed at the work of their God that they write and sing songs about it. 

Now, with that knowledge, go up and re-read those 3 verses. Those events happen 3 days after the closing of the Red Sea. These people are complaining about a lack of water, like they don’t know how they will survive. 

Doesn’t this seem just crazy to you?  It does to me, after all these people have seen, from captivity to after the Res Sea, now they question whether God will be able to get them some drinkable water. 

Now, here is the reality check for me. I do this all the time!  I watch God handle a complex situation in my life, then another situation arises, and I begin to worry how I will handle it. I bet most of us do the same thing. This is where my shame came to the surface.  I realized just how much I don’t trust God early on in situations in my life. 

The understanding came when I realized that I am a fallible, sinful, imperfect human being. I was created in the image of my God, but without the perfection and righteousness of Him. Just as the Israelites, I forget, I need to be reminded. I honestly think this is why we deal with so much stuff in our lives. If we could finally and completely trust God to handle our situations, we wouldn’t need reminding. 

I ask that going forward, don’t hesitate to bring your stuff to Him early. Ponder on the ways God has carried you in the past, and remove the necessity to be reminded of His greatness in our lives. 

God Bless

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Sermon: Romans 8:18

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Romans 8:18 (8:1-18)

 

Speaker:

Pastor Jason Doyle

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Are you Ready?

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Let me ask you a few questions first.  Are you ready?  Are you prepared to speak good of the Lord?  Are you concerned about yourself in this world because of your relationship with the creator?  What do you answer with when people ask why you handle troubles so well?  Do you handle troubles well?

God hates evil. This is not something new. God hates sin. This is also not something new. God desires that all should come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Those that are lost in their sin are those that we should be working on bringing to Christ. What God hates is the evil that causes sin, not the sinner. I want to make this absolutely clear, God does not hate sinners. To say that God hates sinners is to say that God hates all mankind, because we are all sinners. 

Having said that, let’s read from 1 Peter:

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭3:12-15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The Lord watches over us, His followers. He hears our prayers to Him. I don’t mean that he just listens to our prayers, but He hears and acts on those prayers as He sees fit. He is against evil. Even more, who can harm us is we are clinging to Him?  These thing should encourage you in your walk with God. There is no question about where God stands in your life. It is clear with whom He focuses His attention, and brothers and sisters, that attention is on us His children!

When, not if, you suffer on Christs behalf, you should be happy!  To suffer for Christ is to know you are with Him. We need not fear, or be concerned with the way thing in our lives unfold. If we are standing on the promises of God, what happens to us daily is so unimportant. Our goal is eternity, not this world. This life you live does not belong to you, but to Him that created you. It’s important that we keep this frame of mind strong within us, that we don’t waiver in our assurance that God reigns supreme in our lives. 

It’s so important because how we perceive our lives will direct our ability to relate God in our lives with others. How can we give an answer to how we live our lives peaceably in trying times if we cannot live peaceably in trying times?  This is where fellowship with believers is so important. We must be encouraged by each other to keep perspective on how much control God truly has. We need to share the trials and triumphs in our lives with each other. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus whenever possible. 

God is with His people, without fail. Stand firm on that knowledge, be ready to answer on His behalf. 

God Bless

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